11 days in Ethiopia Itinerary

11 days in Ethiopia Itinerary

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Route & dates

11 days in Ethiopia Itinerary

Start: Cape Town
Fly:  9 h 15 min
1
Addis Ababa
— 1 night
Fly:  1 h 30 min
2
Mek'ele
— 1 night
Drive:  3 h 45 min
3
Axum
— 1 night
Fly + Drive:  1 h 15 min
4
Lalibela
— 2 nights
Drive + Fly:  1 h 15 min
5
Gonder
— 1 night
Drive:  2 h 45 min
6
Bahir Dar
— 2 nights
Fly:  15 h
End: Cape Town

1
night
Addis Ababa

Addis Ababa ©
A sprawling metropolis and home to millions of Ethiopians, Addis Ababa houses many international organizations, embassies, and commissions, making it a diplomatic, political, and economic hub of the country.
Kick off your visit on the 11th (Fri): pause for some serene contemplation at Medhane Alem Cathedral, don't miss a visit to The Mausoleum of Menelik II, then steep yourself in history at Tiya World Heritage Site, and finally pause for some serene contemplation at Adadi Mariam. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 12th (Sat): trot along with a tour on horseback, take in the exciting artwork at Asni Gallery, then hunt for treasures at Sholla Market, and finally look for gifts at Salem's Ethiopia.

Plan a Addis Ababa trip in moments using our itinerary builder.

Cape Town, South Africa to Addis Ababa is an approximately 9.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or do a combination of train and car. The time zone changes from South Africa Standard Time (SAST) to Eastern African Time (EAT), which is usually a 1 hour difference. Expect a daytime high around 27°C in October, and nighttime lows around 13°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 12th (Sat) early enough to travel to Mek'ele.

Things to do in Addis Ababa

Shopping Historic Sites Tours

Side Trip

Tiya World Heritage Site
Find places to stay Oct 11 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Salem's Ethiopia ©
Salem's Ethiopia
Adadi Maryam ©
Adadi Maryam
Horseback Riding Tours

1
night
Mek'ele

Mek'ele ©
Mek'ele, also transliterated as Makale, Mekelle or Meqele, is the capital city in the northern Tigray Region of Ethiopia. Kick off your visit on the 13th (Sun): see the interesting displays at Emperor Yohannes IV Palace, explore the activities along Lake Assale, then take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Gheralta Rock, and finally appreciate the history behind Martyr's Memorial Monument.

For where to stay, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the Mek'ele trip builder website .

You can fly from Addis Ababa to Mek'ele in 1.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. In October, plan for daily highs up to 26°C, and evening lows to 14°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Sun) so you can drive to Axum.

Things to do in Mek'ele

Parks Nature Museums
Find places to stay Oct 12 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Gheralta Rock ©
Gheralta Rock
Lake Assale ©
Lake Assale
Emperor Yohannes IV Palace ©
Emperor Yohannes IV Palace

1
night
Axum

Axum ©
Axum or Aksum is a city in the northern part of Ethiopia. On the 14th (Mon), take an in-depth tour of Archeological Museum, make a trip to King Ezana's inscription, browse the eclectic array of goods at Saturday market, then pause for some serene contemplation at Arabtu Ensessa Church, then explore the historical opulence of Chapel of the Tablet, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Northern Stelae Field.

For ratings, more things to do, photos, and more tourist information, read our Axum trip itinerary builder site .

Traveling by car from Mek'ele to Axum takes 4 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Mon) so you can travel to Lalibela.

Things to do in Axum

Historic Sites Shopping Museums
Find places to stay Oct 13 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Northern Stelae Field ©
Northern Stelae Field
Queen of Sheba Palace ©
Queen of Sheba Palace
King Ezana's Inscription ©
King Ezana's Inscription

2
nights
Lalibela

Lalibela ©
Tourism in Lalibela, a small town nestled in Ethiopia's Lasta Mountains, prospers due to its fascinating cluster of rock-carved churches, dating back to the 12th century and boasting the status of a World Heritage Site.
Start off your visit on the 15th (Tue): contemplate the long history of Biete Medhane Alem, then delve into the distant past at Tomb of Adam, then see the sights as you ascend with a climbing tour, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Monastery of Na’akuto La’ab. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 16th (Wed): pause for some serene contemplation at Bilbala St. George Rock Hewn Church, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Abune Yosef, and then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Asheton Maryam Monastery.

To see reviews, other places to visit, where to stay, and more tourist information, use the Lalibela online itinerary planner .

Do a combination of flight and car from Axum to Lalibela in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel to Gonder.

Things to do in Lalibela

Historic Sites Tours Outdoors
Find places to stay Oct 14 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Bilbala St. George Rock Hewn Church ©
Bilbala St. George Rock Hewn Church
Monastery of Na’akuto La’ab ©
Monastery of Na’akuto La’ab
Tomb of Adam ©
Tomb of Adam

1
night
Gonder

A former royal city, Gonder once served as the Ethiopian Empire's capital--it still boasts well-preserved remains of 17th-century castles and palaces that shed light on the opulent lifestyle of the bygone times.
On the 17th (Thu), head outdoors with Outdoor Activities, then see the sights as you ascend with a climbing tour, and then revel in the low prices at Ploughshare Women Crafts Training Centre.

Planning Gonder trip won't be overwheling when you use's Insprock itinerary maker.

Traveling by combination of car and flight from Lalibela to Gonder takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. In October in Gonder, expect temperatures between 30°C during the day and 17°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Thu) early enough to drive to Bahir Dar.

Things to do in Gonder

Tours Outdoors Wildlife
Find places to stay Oct 16 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Walking tours

2
nights
Bahir Dar

Bahir Dar ©
Palm trees and tropical gardens line the spacious avenues of Bahar Dar, a town nestled on the southern shore of the vast, glistening Lake Tana.
Start off your visit on the 18th (Fri): take in the spiritual surroundings of Azwa Mariam Monastery, look for gifts at Ura Kidane Mihret, then don't miss a visit to Monastery of Debre Mariam, then browse the eclectic array of goods at Bahir Dar Market, and finally take in the architecture and atmosphere at St George Church. Here are some ideas for day two: make a trip to CHE CHE Ido, then appreciate the history behind Amhara People's Martyrs' Memorial Monument, then admire the masterpieces at Church of Debre Sina Maryam, and finally take in the exciting artwork at Lions Art Gallery.

For reviews, other places to visit, photos, and more tourist information, go to the Bahir Dar visit planner.

Getting from Gonder to Bahir Dar by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: do a combination of car and ferry. October in Bahir Dar sees daily highs of 29°C and lows of 18°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Sat) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Bahir Dar

Shopping Historic Sites Museums

Side Trip

Ura Kidane Mihret
Find places to stay Oct 17 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Lions Art Gallery ©
Lions Art Gallery
Church of Debre Sina Maryam ©
Church of Debre Sina Maryam
Ura Kidane Mihret ©
Ura Kidane Mihret

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